Another Stuxnet-level cyber strike on critical infrastructure such as nuclear power plants could follow the Flame malware family's cyber espionage campaign, according to F-Secure security chief Mikko Hypponen.
Hypponen warned that while concrete information about the hyper-sophisticated Flame family of malware remains scarce, it is likely the group behind it have more far-reaching goals than mere cyber espionage.
"Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, Gauss and Mini Flame, they're all related and it's highly likely there is far more malware there. As you know we didn't detect these operating for some time, these are just the only concrete cases we know we can tie back to the governments of the US and Israel," Hypponen told V3 during an exclusive interview.
"Mini Flame was still operational exactly a month ago; it's not like these were happening two to three years ago, it's highly likely there's more going on."
The security chief went on to clarify that infiltration campaigns could well be precursors to another Stuxnet-style attack.
Stuxnet is US-made malware that was originally caught attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. The malware was designed to sabotage the plant and halt its operations.
"The only one of these that did anything concrete is Stuxnet, which actually tries to do some physical damage. All the others are just information-gathering tools," said Hypponen.
"They're gathering information for some purpose, maybe for some future attack like Stuxnet, we don't really know but they haven't stopped these operations."
Earlier this month, Hypponen attacked the US government for its involvement in Flame, arguing that it made Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's claim that the country was on the brink of a "cyber Pearl Harbour" look hypocritical.
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